DIY Sandbox under $20

What do you do to entertain a 16 month old when you are 29 weeks pregnant, live on the second floor of an apartment complex, and don’t have a park close by?

Well if you are us, you build a sandbox!

We have a little porch on the back of our condo that looks out over this gorgeous golf course. In the later afternoons it is perfectly shaded and only mildly crazy hot…#summerinarizona. Oliver LOVES to be outside. He could walk around asking “what’s that” for literal hours. I had been racking my brain as to what I was going to do to keep him busy, doing wholesome activities while not completely overdoing it everyday. That’s when the sandbox idea was born.

It is the end of swim season so those fun little plastic pools were super discounted. We found a medium size plastic pool at Walmart for around $7. Then all we needed was sand and some sand toys. We got the sand at Home Depot for $3 a bag. It took two bags to fill the pool. Earlier this summer, before our beach trip, we got Oliver some sand toys at Ross of all places! The sand toys were $8. That brings us to a grand total offfff $18!

It was so easy to put together, you guys! And he loves it! It still is a little hot where we are to be out there for very long but he has a blast and it helps break up the days.

If you have limited space or a limited budget and busy toddlers at home, you’ve got to give this one a try! Little time, little expense but all the fun! Let me know how your projects go!

xo,

Tay

Gallery Wall how-to

Moving into our new apartment, I knew I wanted to jump on that gallery wall train! So I enlisted my trusty partner in crime & we got to work!

Here’s how we did it!

1) Gather/ pick out your frames. I wanted frames of all different sizes, shapes & textures. We had been collecting frames for awhile. Some we got at thrift stores, others at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. Believe it or not we even found the smaller ones at the thrift store! I wanted them to either be white or gold. I also found I liked the look of different shapes on the wall. So we found 2 round pieces to add in. One we got for our wedding & one we found at Goodwill.

2) Pick out your pictures. This took us foreverrrr! Literally longer than it did to hang everything. We had so many pictures to choose from! I ultimately ended up going with warmer toned photos that had similar color schemes. I love how it looks on the wall!

3) Measure the wall. We measured how big we wanted our gallery wall with a measuring tape & then laid it out on the ground. Then we spaced out the frames on the ground so we got it exactly how we wanted it. We took note of how far apart each frame was frame the ones surrounding it.

4) Get to hanging! When I worked at Osmond Designs, I enlisted Kyle to help me with some model homes & he proved to be the best picture hanger! Lucky me! He hung all the pictures perfectly!!

5) Show off your beautiful, more completed home!! Seriously why is it that hanging pictures makes a home feel more officially yours? I love it!

I have also seen people cut out squares of paper the size of your pictures, & then using those squares to make a lay out on the wall. I think that method works just as well as mine.

Happy hanging!

Xo,

Tay

A day at the Farmer’s Market

This was our first time at the Phoenix Farmer’s Market! Actually Any Farmer’s Market for that matter. We had such a fun time…well up until Ollie got too hot & needed a nap…which was about 30 minutes into it #momfail But other than that it was great! We left with tons of fresh veggies, fruit, eggs & bread.

We scored the most delicious tomatoes I’ve ever had. That immediately I knew belonged on a sandwich, where they could really shine. Which they did. I made a simple tomato sandwich on sourdough bread with mayo, salt & pep, and dried oregano. OMG! I’m drooling just thinking about it.

We also tried cactus fruit, which you think would be this bold tangy taste but really it just tastes like a cucumber. And even that might be pushing it on flavor. Ky is excited to make jam out of it.

Ky loved the jujubes! He loved them so much he ate almost all of them in one day! Ollie’s favorite were the plums. Yes they are also a “were” because every time I opened the fridge he would grab one out and shove it in his mouth. Is there anything cuter than a baby eating whole fruit!? I love his love for all fruit. I mean seriously you would think I was feeding him ice cream or something with how much he loves it! Blueberries are the worst. I have to cut him off some days so he doesn’t make himself sick.

I don’t know if I can say what my favorite was. The tomatoes were obviously amazing, the squash and brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes were incredible. I just can’t choose. Why does knowing that food is local and fresh make it so much better??

All in all, I am BIG FAN of Farmer’s Markets and I think everyone should go! The end. They are fun, get you out of the house, allows you to try new things and get to know your city. Win win win.

Xo,

Tay

Summer 2019 Recap

This summer has been NUTS. And even that feels like an understatement.

In April Kyle graduated BYU and that very weekend we finished packing our little apartment in Orem, loaded our moving truck and drove the 12 hours to Arizona. Oh and did I mention I was 10 weeks pregnant at this point and suuuper sick, enough to land me in the ER over night.

That next week Kyle started work at a Pediatric dental office in Mesa. We left most of our stuff packed up while we stayed with Kyle’s parents for 2 months. In the meantime my mom kept me very busy helping plan Kaylee’s wedding and get Jordan ready to leave on a full-time mission.

In June Kaylee and Justin got married in the Gilbert temple. It was a beautiful sealing, even more so for our family because all 6 of us kids, spouses, and my parents were in attendance.

A few weeks later, on my birthday no less, Jordan left for his mission. Kyle and I got to see him the morning he left for the airport and he was absolutely beaming. What an amazing kid. Spending the summer with him made it even harder to say goodbye for 2 years.

Then just a couple days later, Kyle, Ollie, and I once again loaded up our stuff to move into our apartment on the west side of Phoenix. Exhausted comes to mind when I look back at this summer. So you are probably thinking they same thing we were thinking last week…WE NEED A BREAK!

We decided to go to Vegas for a few days and then drive down to Newport Beach and meet up with Kyle’s family for a few days. Ollie was on cloud nine the whole trip. We played games, saw a circus show, went bowling (his first time), shopping, to the beach, the the fair, to the park, and ate the most amazing food. We really did it all! By the end of all this, I was ready for my vacation from the vacation! And Oliver was ready for the vacation to never end!

Oliver playing his favorite game in Vegas

We had a blast and made some great memories together! Bring on Dental School!!

Xo,

Tay

Life with a 9 month old

Our little busy bee is becoming more and more mobile! He stands & squats all on his own now! He crawls so fast I can barely keep track of him! He took his first solo step last Friday but has yet to try again without assistance, but boy is he getting quick when he is holding mama or daddy’s hands!

He was like a little celebrity at church last Sunday walking down the halls with mom and dad at each side! He had friends and neighbors in awe cheering him on! I know he won’t remember, but what a special moment for us! That’s my boy!!

He loves to eat! His favorite foods are beets, graham crackers, yogurt and peas but he really will devour any and everything! And he makes such an adorable mess while he does it.

He loves to follow us into the bathroom and get into all the goodies hiding out in the cupboards. We have recently become better at keeping the door shut at all times.

His favorite toy is anything mom or dad is holding and the kitchen utensils. He could bang those on the ground all day! It’s helpful when I am trying to get dinner prepared! Haha.

Last night he slept 12 hours and I’m really hoping history will repeat itself in this case! He is the best snuggler (sorry ky!) and could win a staring contest any day of the week! He loves to babble and say dadda…maybe someday he will grace us with a mama. I have not given up yet! He laughs when I ask him if he wants more and we are still trying to teach him baby sign language.

Bath time is a blast! He splashed all over and stands up and sits down non stop! He keeps us very busy, and active. I just might loose the baby weight faster than I thought.

For whatever reason he is really into chewing everything and by everything I mean anything made out of paper. We are talking books, magazines, instructions, letters, even homework! So for now our book shelves are bare and all the books are stashed away in the high shelves. Sooo strange. Maybe he is trying to take literally “you are what you eat” 😂

He gets cuter by the minute with that big gapped-tooth smile and bright eyes. He is our world and we adore every minute of this stage! My baby is becoming a child! How did this happen!?!

Love,

Tay

Christmas 2018

We celebrated Oliver’s first Christmas & our first Christmas as a family of 3!!

We decided to celebrate on our own a few days before Christmas because we were heading down to Arizona for two weeks for the break. We really wanted to start some of our own traditions and share this special time as a family. So Dec. 20th we all woke up at 6am. And no it wasn’t because Oliver decided to wake up early. And yes I might be a little crazy. BUT I LOVE CHRISTMAS SO MUCH!!! Kyle made homemade cinnamon rolls and while they baked and the sweet smell of cinnamon filled our tiny apartment, we watched our sweet boy chew on the wrapping paper of all the presents.

Once we finally revealed the gifts for him, he was pretty excited! We decided that we wanted each gift to represent something. For example each year he will get three gifts, one that focuses on a hobby that he likes, one that focuses on something active or physical, and something that is educational or takes some brain power. We decided on three gifts because that is what Jesus got, and since it is His holiday, we want to focus on Him as much as we possibly can.

We also decided we wanted opening presents to be kind of a game! So on each gift, we write a reason why we love the person by saying what made us think to give them that gift. We really felt that would help bring more of the Spirit of Christ to this aspect of Christmas.

In the background you can see some of the I love yous (& my hunky hubs baking)! Oliver got a drum set, to represent his love for banging on things 😂, a name puzzle to help him learn, and a train that he can drag around the house! Great grandma and grandpa also sent him some books! He really loaded up!

The holidays with a child are exponentially more exciting! Seeing the pure joy on his face about literally everything makes my every minute!

This holiday season was also home of a couple other firsts! Oliver’s first airplane ride, and his first Christmas party!

We had such a blast in Arizona! Both of our families live in Mesa so it is so nice to be able to see everyone when we go down, but it’ll be even better when we live there!! We are moving May 1st and I am only slightly excited…jk I wish we were moving tomorrow!! I CANT WAIT!!!

We loved all the time spent with family over the holiday and it makes me ache for next year when we can do it all again!

Love,

Tay

Throwing the Perfect Summer BBQ

There are not many things better than a summer barbecue! They are one of my favorite ways to get together with friends and family during the summer! Kyle and I have a park by our house that has this really huge jungle gym with basically everything that a kid could dream of! There is a lot of grassy area and Ramada’s with barbecues beside them. We have had two barbecue there so far but I can see many many more happening there this summer!
I feel like there are two things that really MAKE a barbecue amazing, the food and the people! And then there are things that are just the cherry on top like the activities!

My parents would always throw barbecues and they have a pool! It was so fun to eat a couple bites and then jump into the pool! We never followed the eating and swimming rule…oops! Swimming at a BBQ goes together like peanut butter and jelly! If you don’t have a pool, I think lawn games are suuuuper fun! Spikeball is one of Kyle and I’s favorites! Corn hole is also becoming a family favorite. We will definitely be playing a lot of that this summer!

Let’s talk food! When I think classic barbecue food I think of hotdogs and hamburgers which, in my opinion, never gets old!

But for those who want to spice things up, here are some other great ideas!

  • street tacos. We made these the other week and they were a huge hit! We grilled marinated steak and chicken. We also grilled the tortillas! Chips, salsa and guacamole were the sides. Guys, it was so good!
  • Grilled chicken wings. We had a bbq at our friend house and they made these! We paired it with sweet potato fries, salad and chips! It was so delicious!
  • Kabobs. I am a big fan of kabobs! For Kyle’s birthday this year, I made fruit and brownie kabobs. They were so cute! For a barbecue I would love to try veggie and chicken kabobs but really any meat, veggie or even fruit would work. Here are some that I’ve pinned to try this summer:

Happy grilling!

Love,

Tay

What to wear Post-baby

Raise your hand if you are like me and either didn’t fit into anything after coming home from the hospital or looked horrible in everything.

I am a really firm believer that when you get ready and put in the effort (no matter how small), you feel good. There is nothing I wanted more (other than the health of my newborn) than to get some normalcy back into my life after his birth. All of a sudden I was living in a body I didn’t recognize and what helped with accepting that was finding cloths that felt like something I would normally wear.

I made the mistake of going shopping after just one month of giving birth. It was a BIG MISTAKE! My hips were still out and I didn’t fit into any jeans like I had hoped. That can really do something to your self esteem, so take it from me and avoid that! Instead wear a skirt. Skirts are a lot more forgiving, especially if you find the ones that have some stretch to them. Skirts are awesome because (unlike dresses) you don’t have to have a certain kind of style. That’s of course if you are nursing or trying to nurse, like I was. Here are some of my favorites:

It wouldn’t be a classic Taylor fashion post if I didn’t rave about how much I adore wearing dresses! Dresses are amazing because they look good on every single body. And for me, they helped hide the pregnant not pregnant stomach that I still had. Dresses are a little bit more tricky when it comes to breastfeeding so you have to find “nursing friendly” ones, which is a little harder than you might think. Here are some amazing nursing friendly dresses:

Shirts are one of those articles of clothing that can do no wrong. Any shirt can work for nursing, which is a BIG bonusss! I do recommend getting one or two new shirts because you just gave birth and you deserve it! Here are some cute ones that I got recently that I am loving!

Leave me a comment and let me know what was a must-have clothing item after you gave birth!

Love,

Tay

Roadtripping with a Newborn

This past weekend we took our one month old on a ten hour road trip from Utah to Arizona! Go ahead and call us crazy but it was actually really fun! We went down to surprise our Moms for Mother’s Day. Here are some things we did that made this trip awesome!

1. We broke up the trip. Stopping halfway made ALL the difference in the world. It was really nice to be able to stretch out and rest. For some reason, driving is exhausting!

2. Over pack. I do this already with Kyle and I so it was pretty easy to add Oliver to the mix! You just never know when there is going to be an accident or a spill. I ended up packing almost all of Oliver’s cloths, three swaddles, a box of 100 diapers, a new pack of wipes, thermometer, a nursing cover, burp cloths, baby bath products and his bath seat, stroller, carseat, breast pump, and bottles with a cooler. It all came in very handy!

3. Bottles bottles bottles. If your baby will take a bottle, this was a lifesaver! I pumped right before our trip down and stored the bottles in a cooler. It was really nice to not have to stop for too long every time he was hungry. I forgot to pump on the way home from our trip and it seriously took twice as long!

4. Try to stick to a schedule. This can be hard when traveling but as long as the routine is the same your baby (hopefully) won’t be too off schedule.

5. Bring a passenger, if possible. My husband and I always travel together so one of us could easily sit in the back with Ollie or reach back to hand him is binky. It make it nice for him and for us. Little man really doesn’t like to feel alone. Who does really?

If you have more tips, we would love to hear them! We take roadtrips all the time, so we are always looking for ways to make them a little more enjoyable! Happy travels!

Love,

Tay

Pregnancy Style Guide

As we were nearing the end of this pregnancy, I thought it would be fun to go back through my very favorite outfits. I am totally laughing while I look through photos because I love dresses but I didn’t realize ALL that I wear are dresses! haha! So enjoy this compilation of my favorite dresses from this pregnancy!

I titled this post a “style guide” because a lot of the dresses are no longer available in store but the look can easily be duplicated. I think it is important to feel comfortable when you are carrying around another human 24/7 but that doesn’t mean you have to look frumpy! I shopped most of my looks at Old Navy, DownEast Basics, and Target. And the thrift store. If you didn’t know by now, I am a BIG thrifter.

#1. Patterns on Patterns

This is one of my favorite date night outfits! It is dressy but not over the top. I don’t recommend wearing a lot of layers while pregnant, mostly because you are already hot all the time! At least I was, and I didn’t want to feel bigger than I already was. haha. The heels I would only wear on a relaxed date night where there is not much walking because those feet are already working overtime. I am a heels girl, though, so any opportunity I have to wear them…I TAKE IT!!

#2 Legging + Dress combo

This look is for those bad hair days…hence, the hat. This is just a simple, extremely SOFT swing dress. It is easy to throw on and you can easily dress it up or down depending on where you are headed…if anywhere ;).

#3 Church Dress

I love this look for Church. It’s bright and fun and super comfortable. I really think everyone needs a comfortable dress that you can throw on and still look fabulous in, even if you don’t feel fab.

#4.

I love having a good mix of light and darker color clothing! Just trying to keep things interesting.

#5. Maxi Dress

Every pregnant woman needs a good maxi dress! They are so comfortable, especially this one! I paired it with some black booties and a winter coat. I would only suggest doing that pairing for a winter look. If you are pregnant in the summer, a cute pair of flats and a vest would look great!

#6. Your Style

As my belly grows, it is hard for my style not to go with it. I think it is important to keep a look that you would normally wear if you didn’t have a big basketball making things difficult. That is what this look is for me. It is not a maternity dress, just a flowy dress with a cute jacket and converse.

Fun Owl Print Dress

This dress is sooo comfortable and I just love things that are different! How many people do you know that have an owl dress??

Love,

Tay